Round 1: What did we learn?

With round 1 of the 2016 AFL season come and gone, there are already quite a few things we’ve learnt across the weekend:

Dangerfield is not taking a backseat to anyone in Geelong. 

Patrick Dangerfield debuted for Geelong in the traditional Easter Monday clash against Hawthorn. With the eyes of the entire footy world watching, he turned it on. Amassing 43 touches, he showed that he had lost non-of the star power that made him such a talent at the Adelaide Crows last season. Amogst a midifield boasting the likes of Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy and Mark Blicvas, he showed, he won’t play second fiddle to anyone. The cattery is now his yard. 

Patrick Cripps will single-handedly ensure that Carlton are competitive this season

The young star in his junior year of AFL has continued his best and fairest winning form into the opening round of the season. Amassing 27 disposals and kicking one goal, his ability to find the ball and use it effectively by hand, having 19 handballs in the new Brendan Bolton ‘Hawthorn’ system will provide Carlton with hope. Granted it is only round one, but he did similar things last year in a season that was at a loss before it began. He will win their B&F again this year, barring injury and will no doubt go on to be one of the best the league has seen. 

With the new interchange rules, the 100+ goal season has a very real chance of returning

With teams restricted to 90 rotations this season, we’ve already seen an average score increase of +10 per side. Teams aren’t able to stay as fresh, and fatigue becomes a genuine factor late in games, opening them up to an explosion of action. North Melbourne ran over Adelaide due in part to this. Not only will it provide a more open game, but also more opportunity for goals. Josh Kennedy of the West Coast Eagles kicked 8 against Brisbane. If Kennedy averages 4 goals a game for the rest of the season, he would end up with 92 goals making the 100 mark a very real outcome. 

Matt Rosa, refreshed and motivated, can be the Shaun Higgins recruit of this season.

Matt Rosa left West Coast at the end of last season seeking a fresh start and the chance to play consistently in his prefered position, as a winger. A commodity the Gold Coast were severly lackinig, his first game has given good indication it was a shrewd piece of business. Granted it was against Essendon, but he had 32 touches at 82% efficiency. A consistent output, he could end up being the valuable pick-up that Shaun Higgins was for North Melbourne last year. 

The lack of experience at the Swans doesnt seem to be an issue. 

Sydney went out against Collingwood with a giant question mark over their ability to ‘hang.’ Having lost over 1000 games of experience in the past few years, they had to find a fix somewhere. They found just that in the form of three debutants; George Hewett, Callum Mills and Tom Papley. Amassing 15, 18 and 11 disposals respectively, the trio showed that they weren’t afraid to mix it with some of the best in the league and that they were more then suited to the big time. Best keep an eye on these three in the future given Sydney’s propensity for developing talent. 



— Unsportsmen


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